Popcorn VS Northern Soul at Space


Manchester, Bank Holiday, Sunday May 30th. Eurocultured

Popcorn VS Northern Soul at Space - An exclusive all dayer with some of the innovators of the original Belgium Popcorn sound playing alongside some of Manchester’s top Northern Soul Dj’s 

ImageMark Rowlands, a journalist for The Guardian newspaper had invited me to come and play this festival and asked me to select a few other dj’s who might be able to present the best Belgian Popcorn sounds. My mission was to look for the best Belgian Dj and some UK Dj’s who are true Popcorn aficionados. The idea was to play next to the cream of Manchester’s Northern Soul Dj’s. . For the Belgian Dj I didn’t have to look far; Jeff Callebaut has a long standing history as being one of the innovators of the original Popcorn sound and he was happy to to be booked for the event. For the UK side I remembered a woman Dj who I had met through the internet and who has always amazed me with her passion and knowledge of the real Popcorn sound; Linda Couldstone aka Miss Popcorn. She played a great set of mainly big ballads, the odd instrumental and some Belgian Popcorn unknowns, all played with such a great love and passion for the music.  The reception of the crowd in Manchester was just perfect, better than I had even expected in my wildest dreams.  Both Jeff and myself were amazed by the reaction of the crowd! We played for a rather exclusive set of music lovers who were quite well aware of the fact that they were getting something special. And something special they got!!   

ImageBelgian Popcorn seemed like a fresh new momentum in Soul music, the dance floor was never empty and the crowd reacted with a round of applause after each record. I've never ever experienced this before in this way. Also, there were some record collectors standing around, eying the turntables and they seemed really impressed and they showed their appreciation with each record. Really amazing!  Jeff played a superb set of those early Popcorn tunes that are so well loved and yet sometimes so easily forgotten. How rare is it to hear the man play Ray Rivera’s ‘Troubles, Troubles’, Clyde McPhatter ‘I’ll love you till the cows come home’ or ‘All this town” by Charlie Harris. Very seldom can these tunes be heard on Belgian nights and the UK crowd loved every minute of it and showed it too.

My own set included some latino tunes like Manny Corchado’s ‘Pow Wow’ which really packed the dancers in and some great big ballads like ‘Someone’s gonna cry’ by Val Martinez  and ‘One out of a hundred’ by Little Herman, an absolutely stunning torcher.  As there was not a stage manager around, each dj played longer then originally planned, there was some confusion about when we had to start our set. Mark Rowlands who had booked us thankfully came to our rescue.   Originally my set was planned at 7.30h and Jeff at 8.30h. We each had originally sets of 60 minutes. But I started 2 and 1/2 hours late and then Jeff followed me. The crowd gave Jeff the longest and loudest applause of the whole day.   

Dj Eddy De Clercq  (NL)